One of the first days I was in town, I went into Tangen Drug across the street from the theatre because Jess Vanek, another intern, got a really cool sticker there, and I wanted one, too. When I got up to the register, there was a minimum purchase to use my card, and so I grabbed the closest thing, and it happened to be a Burt’s Bees lip balm, and that is when it all began. Never looked back.
Really anything from Burt’s Bees is a home run in my book. I also use the cuticle oil, face wash, night-time moisturizer, and the under-eye brightening gel and they are all great. PLUS’ Burt’s Bees is cruelty-free and uses lots of natural ingredients. It makes self-care feel very indulgent.”
2. Actor and Director Jackie Johnson (Actor: 1776, Rumors, Leading Ladies, Elephant’s Graveyard, Crimes of the Heart; Director: Death of a Salesman, Fools, The Diary of Anne Frank) says, “After a smart and talented friend recommended Blown Away on Netflix about a year ago, I went home and queued up the first episode. That night I had to force myself to pause after watching two episodes because I didn't want to burn through this artistic journey too quickly. I become an instant fan. Season two was released recently, and I've been similarly trying to pace myself. It's a vibrant and exciting introduction to a world of artistry that I had previously known very little about; glass blowing. Ten industry champs (with the support of several talented assistants) compete for an Artist Residency at the Corning Museum of Glass and $60,000 to support their career. Not only is it exciting to watch artists excelling in their craft, the fragility of their work mirrors the fragility of our lives, our systems, our emotions. I am reminded that we all shatter glass from time to time, and it's what we do with those broken shards that matters most. Thanks to that friend (spoiler alert it was Jason Richards) who made the initial recommendation, I am now passing it on to you all! We hope you'll enjoy it as much as we have.
By now you've probably already heard or read Amanda Gorman's Inaugural Poem, "The Hill we Climb." But if you haven't, do yourself a favor and take it in. This is an incredible young poet, and in sharing her gift with the nation, she strikes an inspirational chord while honoring the often painful history that brought us to this moment in time. Gorman captures so much about our shared national identity and provides a beautiful and inspirational look at how we can return to compassion as a foundation of our government. It gives me great hope for our future, ‘if only we are brave enough to see it, if only we are brave enough to be it.’ You can read a transcript of her poem, "The Hill we Climb" here, or watch her recitation here.”
4. Actor Faith Klick (The Marvelous Wonderettes, Fools, Crimes of the Heart) says, “My favorite for this month is the Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook. I have been missing humanity and traveling recently. I was lucky enough to receive this cookbook from one of my best friends, Tyra, this Christmas as a reminder of the trip we took three years ago. The book is filled with treats that we loved and wanted to try. The recipes were actually pretty accurate! If you’re having a little bit of wanderlust, I highly recommend picking up a cookbook and experiencing travel through food. Those flavors will make it feel like you’re there!”
6. Actor Laila Sahir (1776, The Children’s Hour, The Fantasticks, Elephant’s Graveyard) says "I just finished playing the game What Remains of Edith Finch, and I LOVED it. It's a first-person adventure game available on several different platforms (I played on my laptop). While the game is technically an adventure game, I was more taken with the aspects of the story that center around family and loss. The content can get a bit dark at times, but the storytelling and the artwork are absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to play through it again!"
7. Our Board President Meg Luhrs says, “Since last spring, I have been walking on various segments, in Chisago County MN, of the Swedish Immigrant Recreational Trail. It's paved for bikes but walkers are welcomed. In the winter, some segments are cleared and others are packed snow or even fresh powder, suitable for snowshoeing. The newest segment terminus is in Taylors Falls at their City Hall campus just west of downtown on County Road 37 and is a nice facility with parking, picnic tables under a shelter, and portable toilets. Walking west from there, with the Interstate Park on your left, you cross two beautifully engineered bridges spanning deep ravines, and eventually come to Herberg Ave., where you can turn around or cross the road and continue to the Tern Ave. parking area or proceed all the way to Shafer, MN. The trail ends, for now, a few miles west of Shafer parking area.
The trail surface is wide and even, the terrain is flat to gently rolling, and it passes through varied surroundings, from woods to meadows, farmlands to wetlands, villages and campgrounds, always providing an atmospheric journey suggestive of that taken by early settlers as they ventured west from the steamboat landings of the Lower St. Croix.”
8. Actor Madison Fairbanks (The Marvelous Wonderettes, Fools, The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood) says, “My February Festival Fave is embroidery! I’ve only been embroidering for a few years but self-isolation has had me working on a ton of different projects. Traditional hoops as well as ball caps, jeans, and sleeping masks have been a saving grace as a creative outlet. I prefer it to other fiber crafts such as knitting or cross stitching because embroidery lends itself to so much freedom. If I mess up, fixing it is no sweat. When I say it’s a great beginner craft, I mean it! Start off with something simple; the shape of Wisconsin, a quote that inspires you, the Festival Theatre logo (maybe that’s more advanced, your call), whatever you want! My current, specific, fascination is “Day of the Week” tea towels featuring critters doing chores around the house. The best advice I can give is not to take it too seriously! It’s a fun, entirely customizable, simple craft. A needle, an embroidery hoop, embroidery floss, and some fabric is all it takes. Put on a podcast, some music, a favorite tv series, sit in silence, whatever you want, and stitch away!”